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#pounditThursday, September 29, 2022

Rival slugger has bold prediction about Shohei Ohtani

Shohei Ohtani in the dugout

Aug 21, 2018; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Los Angeles Angels pitcher/designated hitter Shohei Ohtani in the dugout against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Chase Field. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Shohei Ohtani has taught us to expect the unexpected, but one rival thinks that we should expect the really unexpected with Ohtani.

Speaking at an All-Star media session this week, Boston Red Sox slugger JD Martinez delivered a bold prediction about the Los Angeles Angels two-way sensation Ohtani. Martinez said that he believes Ohtani will win MVP not just this year but for the next five straight years.

“I think it’s a no-brainer,” said Martinez about Ohtani’s AL MVP chances this season, per Jeff Fletcher of the Orange County Register. “How are you going to compete with Ohtani? He’s gonna win it for the next five years. As long as he pitches and he hits, you’re not going to beat him.

“Look at [Vladimir Guerrero Jr.] last year,” Martinez continued. “If Vladdy didn’t win it, nobody’s going to win it. It’s too much. If you look at the WAR numbers, the value numbers, who else can affect the game both sides? Just change the name of it to The Ohtani Award.”

The five-time All-Star Martinez might not be too far off. Ohtani, 28, was already a unanimous AL MVP winner last season. While he has regressed slightly as a batter this year, Ohtani has more than made up for it with his improvement as a starting pitcher, posting a sub-2.50 ERA with a sublime 12.7 strikeouts per nine innings. Simply put, no one in the league (or in this lifetime for that matter) can even dream of putting up the kind of elite all-cylinders production that has become the norm for Ohtani.

But even if Ohtani has multiple MVP awards still ahead of him, the more pertinent question might be what team he wins them with. Ohtani’s contract with the Angels expires after the 2023 season, and there is some cloudiness right now over if he will actually stay with them.


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